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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Genetic and Biochemical Basis of Soft Winter Wheat Quality

Location: Corn, Soybean and Wheat Quality Research Unit

2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Develop rapid methods to detect improved milling and flour quality in commerce. 2. Develop improved standard cake baking method and alternatives for chlorinated flour. 3. Characterize the anatomical and biochemical differences linked to genetic markers for quality in collaboration with regional genotyping labs and state breeding programs. 4. Define soft wheat quality targets and measure eastern U.S. soft wheat breeding materials against those targets for the breeding programs and the milling industry.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The SWQL devotes between 60 and 70% of its efforts to testing new wheat germplasm for suitability as cultivars of the soft winter wheat classes. It uses American Association of Cereal Chemistry standard protocols that allow results to be compared across regions and through time. The results are compiled into multi-year datasets to test for improved milling and baking characteristics of new cultivars. The results of collaborative evaluations of milling and baking quality in breeding materials have been used to improve both the understanding and the genetic structure of breeding populations. To improve the selection of cultivars and use of soft wheat we will develop rapid methods to detect improved milling and flour quality in commerce. We will select untempered milling methods in combination with other rapid methods to measure milling and flour quality by measuring milling yield by standard AACC methods and then comparing them to samples milled with reduced tempering to generate prediction models. We also will select NIR or NIR with hyperspectral analysis methods to measure milling and flour quality. Baking method improvement will focus on cake baking methods and alternatives for chlorinated flour. We will develop a cake baking method with zero-trans fat shortening through standard testing of formula modification. Then it will be used to compare the effects of heat treatment, chlorination and GBSS mutation (waxy wheat) on starch pasting and cake baking performance. The optimum treatments will be combined to test the use of waxy wheat flour for replacing chlorinated flour for cake baking. Milling quality may relate to specific anatomical differences linked to genetic markers for quality. We will compare grain from near-isogenic lines for milling and flour quality. Specifically we will contrast cells from maternal tissue, aleurone and sub-aleurone from near-isogenic lines. Finally all this information will be summarized and reviewed through industry panels on a regular basis to refine the soft wheat quality targets and measure eastern U.S. soft wheat breeding materials against those targets for the breeding programs and the milling industry.


3.Progress Report
This project will improve the milling and baking quality of soft wheat cultivars in the eastern US by developing new methods of evaluating quality and conducting cooperative research with wheat breeding programs to evaluate their breeding research trials. We completed the first year of rapid methods testing of grain quality. We implemented the use of whole grain Near Infra-Red to cut sample processing time in the laboratory, which will enable us to meet our efficiency goals in providing service to wheat breeding programs in the eastern US. We also completed the first year of a two year study that would allow grain elevators to estimate accurately the milling yield of a grain lot at the time of delivery. This could improve mill efficiency and add value to the grain market. We completed a revised experimental cake method which will allow us to test flour quality using zero-transfat shortening. This will make the cake testing in the laboratory more relevant to current manufacturing standards. We made additional progress in another part of the milestone pertaining to heat treated cake flour. Our goal is to find a method of testing new cultivars for cake quality without the environmental and worker safety hazards of using chlorine gas to treat flour. We completed the first comprehensive survey of the nutritional profile of whole grain soft wheat flour, which raised estimates of the amount of fiber in whole grain flour but lowered estimates of B vitamin concentrations, including Niacin, Thiamin and Pyrodoxine. We completed a survey of quality preferences of domestic and international buyers of soft wheat. This information was combined with the past 10 years of pilot scale milling data to produce the first new set of quality targets for the eastern US soft wheat classes in more than 15 years. These targets have been distributed to the industry for their review and feedback over the next year. Breeders need clear targets for use in selecting new wheat cultivars. The production of these targets will improve the overall marketing efficiency of the soft winter wheat class. We tested 6500 grain samples for plant breeders use in selecting quality while developing varieties with improved disease resistance and grain yield.


4.Accomplishments
1. Quality standards for soft wheat. In order to simplify interpretation of quality measurement characteristics, researchers at the Soft Wheat Quality Laboratory in Wooster, Ohio analyzed and summarized preferred ranges for forty-nine milling, baking, physical and biochemical parameters based on feedback from industry and cooperators and 10 years of industry and ARS testing. The desired quality parameters for pastry and cracker or export flours were posted on the USDA/ARS Soft Wheat Quality Laboratory website to facilitate cooperating breeder selection of wheats based on preferred flour type and to improve marketing efficiency for the soft wheat class. Results of a cooperator survey at the 2011 Research Review led to revision of ranges for 20 quality traits. The revised ranges for wheat quality allow plant breeders focused on improved yield and disease resistance to maintain high product quality in their selections.

2. Formulation of a cake flour testing method with zero-trans fat. A zero trans-fat method was developed by a USDA/ARS scientist in the Soft Wheat Quality Laboratory in Wooster, Ohio. The method replaces those based on cake recipes containing partially hydrogenated fats that are being phased out in industrial cake baking because of health standards demanding zero trans fat. The zero trans-fat method is being used by flour testing labs and industrial bake labs to test new wheat varieties and flour milling methods for their suitability for cake baking.

3. Whole grain soft wheat flour nutritional profile. Scientists at USDA/ARS Soft Wheat Quality Laboratory completed the first comprehensive survey of the nutritional profile of whole grain soft wheat flour. The analysis resulted in raised estimates of the amount of fiber in whole grain flour, and lowered estimates of B vitamin concentrations, including niacin, thiamin and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). The completed survey brings the nutritional database into compliance with the best methods available for determining fiber and vitamin content. It gives improved nutritional information to dieticians and baking industry product development teams. It also points to a need to investigate the origins in the decline of B vitamins in current non-fortified whole wheat flour. These new results have the potential to change the nutritional labels of every whole wheat product on the market.


Review Publications
Lewis, J.M., Siler, L., Souza, E.J., Perry, K.W., Dong, Y., Jiang, G., Ward, R.W. 2010. Registration of ‘Ambassador’ wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations. 4: 195-204.

Lewis, J.M., Siler, L., Perry, K.W., Souza, E.J., Yanhong, D., Brown Guedira, G.L., Jiang, G., Ward, R. 2010. Registration of ‘Red Amber’ Wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations. 4:215-223.

Lewis, J.M., Siler, L., Perry, K.W., Souza, E.J., Dong, Y., Jiang, G., Ward, R.W. 2010. Registration of ‘Coral’ wheat. Journal of Plant Registrations. 4: 205-214.

Hughes, K., Griffey, C., Parrish, D., Barbeau, W., Souza, E.J., Thomason, W. 2010. Pre-harvest sprouting tolerance in current soft red winter wheat cultivars. Crop Science. 50(4): 1449-1457.

Kweon, M., Slade, L., Levine, H., Souza, E.J. 2010. Application of RVA and time-lapse photography to explore effects of extent of chlorination, milling extraction rate, and particle-size reduction of flour on cake-baking functionality. Cereal Chemistry. 87:409-414.

Kweon, M., Donelson, T.S., Slade, L., Levine, H. 2010. Micro-sugar-snap and -wire-cut cookie baking with trans- and zero-trans-fat shortenings. Cereal Chemistry. 87:415-419.

Chen, J., Souza, E.J., Bosque-Perez,, N., Guttieri, M., Obrien, K., Windes, J., Guy, S., Brown, B., Chen, X., Zemetra, R. 2010. Registration of ‘UI Winchester’ wheat. Crop Science. 4:224-227.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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